TODAY -

'War on drugs' campaign faces legal roadblock
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: August 29, 2022 -



IT'S rather disheartening that concerted efforts by the law enforcement agencies to tackle the rising cases of drug peddling in the state aren't able to nail the kingpins mainly due to the existing law of the land having provisions that even confirmed culprits could feast on and live life as normal citizens if one could produce documentary evidences related to unhealthy health conditions.

Every time the court releases a suspect arrested in connection with drug smuggling case, there has been subdued reactions and expression of opinions from various sections of the society that the legal system must be amended to leave no escape route for anyone who has violated the law.

For instance, days after drug smuggling accused Lhukhosei Zou was released by the Special ND&PS Court on December 17, 2020; a conglomerate of civil societies namely 3-5 People Collective filed a counter affidavit against the government of Manipur and the latter was asked by the High Court to respond to the petition.

The Special Leave Petition (SLP) underscored that not everybody is amused with the freedom granted to persons accused in drug smuggling cases and there are many who are keen to make the culprits repent for trying to slow poison the future generations.

It could also be construed that the said SLP questioned commitment of the government to eradicate the ills of drug and substance abuse afflicting the society.

Notwithstanding the fact that many civil society organisations and village authorities have pledged support to the 'war on drugs' campaign of the incumbent government, some civil societies view the campaign as publicity gimmick especially due to the government's apparent reluctance to reopen the Lhukhosei case in a higher court.

Subsequent to Special ND&PS Court absolving all but two persons accused in the multi-crore drug bust case, there were mixed reactions with some organisations demanding retrial contrary to few others contending that Lhukhosei shouldn't be subjected to further legal proceeding but uphold decision of the Special ND & PS court.

Amid the then raging debates, the High Court upheld the SLP filed by four representatives of the CSO conglomerate, which sparked off fresh bouts of fierce debate among the concerned stakeholders and also compelled the government authorities to demonstrate its unwavering stand to eliminate the scourge of drug use and illicit trafficking from the society by instructing the law enforcement agencies to leave no stone unturned in making the 'war on drugs' campaign effective.

Amid intensification of the anti-drug drive across the state, the report that the police department has initiated investigation into various cases of release of accused persons in drug haul cases prior to completion of the enquiry process implies that the law enforcement agencies shall have to wage the war and hope that the legal practitioners do not entertain cases of those arrested on the charge of drug smuggling for these elements are the biggest threat to the state and its youth population.

As the security forces along with civil societies have been campaigning to prevent substance addiction and illicit drug trafficking with the stated objective to check further erosion of the social structure under the scourge of drugs, such commendable service to the society definitely deserve to have unflinching support of the legal practitioners.



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